Lucien Descaves

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Descaves, Lucien


Born Mar. 19, 1861, in Paris; died there Sept. 6, 1949. French writer and publicist.

Descaves’s predilection for naturalism is demonstrated in his first collection of novellas, The Suffering of Héloïse Padajou (1882). The same tendency characterized the novel The Noncommissioned Officers (1889), which exposed corruption in the French Army, and Descaves’s subsequent works, which were basically social and democratic. The central theme of his best-known novel, The Column (1901; translated into Russian in 1930), is the pulling down of the Vendóme Column at the time of the Paris Commune in 1871. The novel is permeated with faith in the Commune and its supporters, but it fails to reflect the importance of the revolution and the role played in it by the popular masses, for Descaves’s narrative advocates reform and not revolution. From 1900 to 1944, Descaves was secretary, and from 1945 president, of the Académic Goncourt.


La Cage: Drame. Paris, 1898.
Philemon, vieux de la vieille. Paris, 1913.
Souvenirs d’un ours. Paris, 1946.
In Russian translation.
Varavva. [Kharkov] 1926.


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959.
Zévaès, A. Les Procès littéraires aux XIX siècle. Paris, 1924.
Descaves, P. Mémoires de ma mémoire. Paris, 1960.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The reception of the poster (as a form of mass-produced culture) by Huysmans, Lucien Descaves and other decadent writers, therefore, can be interpreted, as Thomas Crow has written, as an instance in which an alienated subgroup "discovered, renewed or re-invented itself by identifying with marginal 'non-artistic' forms of expressivity and display--forms improvised [...] out of otherwise devalued or degraded materials of capitalist manufacture" (215).
The autoeroticism latent in Huysmans's analysis was brought to the fore by one of his close personal friends, Lucien Descaves (1861-1949).
by Lucien Descaves, 18 vols (Geneva: Slatkine, 1972), xviii, 109).
Si certains auteurs comme Paul Bonnetain--auteur du controverse Charlot s'amuse--, Leon Hennique, Fevre et Desprez ou encore Lucien Descaves ont recours a l'outrance, a la surenchere dans le "pornographique" et le scatologique, la strategie employee par Margueritte et Rosny dans Tous Quatre et Le Termite relevera essentiellement de la mise en abyme.
(3) Fevre et Desprez sont poursuivis pour Autour d'un clocher en 1884; Bonnetain pour Charlot s'amuse, toujours en 1884; Paul Adam pour Chair molle en 1885 et Lucien Descaves pour Sous-offs en 1889.